Category: Adventures Of Me

The Case of the Bookcase

It seemed like a fairly typical Sunday midmorning.  Granted, I’d just come back from brunch with My-Friend-the-Lawyer, which was a bit abnormal but still within pattern for our weekend trips together.  As he was headed back across the state via twisty and winding roads, I decided that it seemed like a good day to acquire another bookcase.

This new bookcase would be the seventh of such at Chez Hedgehog.  I have two five-shelf and a three-shelf from IKEA and three low three-shelf ones picked up in a spontaneous afternoon trip to Walmart a couple years ago.

Hmm…weekend afternoons and bookcase shopping. I begin to sense a trend.

I’ve known for a while that I was out of bookcase space.  Piles of books were everywhere; library books were living in an overflowing basket; and I’d started double shelving paperbacks in my bedroom–which always turns into an utter disaster when I’m looking for a specific title.  I have pruned the collection quite a lot. I took another couple of bags in to work two weeks ago and I have two more boxes of Regencies ready to go to the Opera singer.  Still…

I like IKEA, and a friend had mentioned getting a couple of bookcases shipped to her so I moused over to their website to see what was to be found.  I wanted another five shelf bookcase in the light wood color.  And I found one for around$70. That seemed pretty reasonable so I tossed it in my cart and clicked check out.

Now I knew IKEA used to only ship from their Jersey store but I’d hoped that had changed–what with said friend saying she’d ordered stuff.  Apparently not.

Shipping was over $300.  For a single bookcase.

I could have waited and invaded either Chicago or Minneapolis and gone to their IKEAs but it’s going to be a bit before I have a free weekend and I’m not sure if I can fit a 6′ bookcase in my car by myself nor if I would wish to drive with it hanging out the trunk all the way back to La Crosse. I didn’t want to go to Walmart. I didn’t want to go to the antique stores and rummage about either. Whatever I was getting I had to be able to lift and carry myself.  I have a poor relationship with UPS here and wasn’t in the mood to have something shipped (Amazon shipping was over $100 too!) and then still have to haul six foot panels around.

Finally I found something reasonably priced on the Target website that claimed to be available in store.  I set aside my irritation with their recent campaign donation nonsense and was off.

Deceptive packaging, unclear aisles, poor signage, and no sales staff later, I finally located the bookcase! And they had it in the light wood similar to my IKEA shelves.  Only, the box was on a shelf that hit me about chest height–and the bookcase was stored vertically in a 4.5′ box.  With the knowledge that I was going to have to get this thing home alone, I tackled lifting it down.

Okay, that worked, now it’s on the floor, still vertical.

I hefted it up to the cart, picked up a new tea kettle, rejected the water cooker offerings, and checked out.

Nearly dropped the bookcase off the front of the cart in the parking lot and leveraged it into the backseat of the car.  Door shut and yay!

Only…I don’t live on the first floor.  I’m on the second floor and we don’t have an elevator.  And while I could lift the box, the possibility of my actually being able to carry it up the stairs without falling, dropping it, hurting myself, etc was slim.  And so, in a fit of wisdom, I drove home, opened the box in the back seat, and carried the bookcase up in two trips.

Assembly time–adding in the extra help of a feline to supervise and inspect the process.  I put the first pieces together, she hopped in the center of the square.  I muttered things at the screws and said things about alignment and screwdrivers; Gypsy made sure her nose had touched all corners, sides, and edges.  Frame constructed, it was time to nail on the back–which came in two parts.  Laid both on top of the bookcase and immediately there was the cat (small and gray and bright-eyed*).  Only, the backs aren’t secure, so one piece slipped in with cat.  No problem, she hopped to the other back: thud part deux.

I chased her off one half long enough to start hammering in nails–she went and hid under the other piece, pleased with her new hideaway.  Once the first half was nailed down she claimed that as her seat while I hammered the second half down.  At one point I was swinging a hammer about two inches from her paw–she didn’t even twitch, just sniffed the nails.  Nerves of selective steel.

Bookcase assembled it was time to set it up and see if it would stay in the upright and locked position.  I still had a cat on the back on the bookcase but she’s not heavy enough to preclude lifting.  About the time she started actively sliding, she hopped down.

But now! Now there was a new SHELF. She must claim it! I hadn’t even gotten the bookcase leveraged against the wall before she was on it.  At that point, I had a dinner to go to, so I left her enjoying her new perch–though I did throw a couple of boxes on the bottom shelf to try and keep it from tipping when she hopped up and down.

When I got home and found the bookcase still standing, it was time to add shelves. Shelf One went in at the height of “can I fit a DVD in here.”  Shelf Two was “Tall Hardcover Book Height.” Shelf Three is fixed and I figured that was roomy and spacious enough for a small gray one.  Shelf Four went in at “Magazine Height.” This left me “3 Ring Binder Height” for the bottom shelf.

I cleaned out the library basket; I raided all of my piles and caches of books to be read; I gathered my knitting patterns. Gypsy was very disturbed and spent the next hour crying as she tried to figure out why I was making changes in her universe.  I ended up having to put books on her middle shelf, but I left plenty of sitting room for what I am sure will be a favorite spot.  The National Geographics that are being ignored got their own section. I realized I don’t remember reading the last three issues of Vogue Knitting.  The bottom shelf became knitting books and the next box that’s going to the Opera Singer.

It’s done.  The top two shelves are mostly library books.  The third shelf is masses of historical romance.  The fourth shelf magazines and the fifth knitting and box.  I’ve added couple of stuffed animal bookends and moved a couple of favorite hedgehogs to the top.  Gypsy seems to have finally accepted that the cool long box has left for the garbage. I think she’s still upset that I took over “her” shelf.

It’ll have to do until I get my floor to ceiling Beauty-and-the-Beast style library.

*bonus points if you can identify that picture book

Flailing

I’m just back from New York, meeting The Blonde’s baby*, being Auntie Hedgehog and all that. Courtesy of New York drizzle I got to spend a charming extra four hours in O’Hare airport.  I appreciate American not making me do a mad sprint–when we touched down I would have had all of five minutes to get to the gate, get off the plane, and make it to my next gate, no mean feat in those terminals–but I really wanted to get back to La Crosse and tackle an inbox that was looking dire.  While I adored having borrowed the HP Mini from work, (only a DVD drive would have made it better), there is only so much email I can face on that small screen.  The most pressing things got answered, everything else is still mocking me.

Gypsy, Her Furriness, Queen Widget the First, stayed at home with O again.  She seemed relatively pleased I returned, though once again I was receiving complaints that I’m not as fun.  Comes with the territory and the nail trimming duties I suppose.

Twas good to go home though, back to my favorite city. There was excellent Thai food (twice!) and time with people with whom I can truly be myself and to whom I can say what I’m really thinking.  Or where we’re all obviously sharing a brain and a glance expresses all of the thoughts on that outfit that just strolled past us.  The people watching is so amazing sometimes.

I read frivolous books and ignored my RSS feeds.  I wore jeans for five days and moved into my new white hooded sweatshirt for the fall.  I had a bacon-egg-cheese-on-a-roll at 2:45 a.m. and the guy behind the counter didn’t even look at me funny when I asked.  And there was a bodega open at that hour to make me one. I went to the National Museum of the American Indian downtown and then sat in Battery Park staring at the ocean.  And, courtesy of the Brunette’s new apartment, I got to see a whole new part of Manhattan that I’d never explored.  Who knew Bailey of Barnum and Bailey had a small castle on the northern edge of Harlem? Truly lovely buildings up there.

And now I’m back and plunging  in.  It’s fall and storytimes are in full swing. I came back, dropped off my suitcase, and came to work for my Wee Reads. I owe y’all an update on that.  I start a genealogy program next week–called the Incredibly Patient Mother and asked her to ship my notebook from 4-H summers past. I’m looking forward to showing the kids how I’ve been able to use the Census (much of which wasn’t as readily available online when I was doing my research) to trace my DAR eligibility. I’ve an upcoming Rick Riordan party, 39 Clues party,and Legends of the Guardians/Guardians of Ga’Hoole party to plan…

Also, my desk appears to be missing. Much to do and September ends in only a couple of days.

But the smell of salt water and the sound of the subway trains lingers…

*he’s going to need his own blog name.  First Nephew? Boy Blue (Dad’s NYPD and he has BLUE eyes)? Suggest something…

Another “Up”date

Still working on that Year of Up

A brief check up:

Shape Up: Yah, I know, I’m on the twiglet side of things. That doesn’t mean I’m as in shape as I’d like to be.

  • May 2010: I’ve been doing Zumba once a week. Enjoying it! Need to start doing it at home too, not just class. Also, ordered a pair of Shape-Ups (caught a Skechers sale) to see about making those strolls down the walking trail a bit more productive.
  • September 2010: I’m working on a modified version of Couch to 5K.  There’s a walking/bike trail behind my apartment building. I’m on it three days a week–alternating between walking/jogging. The jog stretches are getting longer and I’m slightly less self conscious.  Slightly.

Clean Up: Get what I’m not using out of the house. It means less to dust around.

  • May 2010: I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff–a trunkload to Goodwill, many trips out to the dumpster, books to the FOTL. And….things fluffed up. *sigh* there’s less stuff. Promise.
  • September 2010: Stuff still slowly leaving. I have a hard time cleaning out books and I really need to make a big trip to the post office and drop a number of packages in the mail.

Move Up: There are professional opportunities out there that I need to be working on/towards. Now if I can just guess what the major trend of ALA Annual 2012 will be….

  • May 2010: I’ve got ideas. Need to work on some action steps.
  • September 2010: Hmm..kinda stalled on this. Working with Madame Storyteller next week on goals/plans. Needs to go back on the to do list.

Speak Up: Blogging, Writing, on Committees.

  • May 2010: Guest Blog at Writer’s Beware!This may be being republished, I’m waiting on an email. I’ve gotten a few of the long thoughts out on the blog. May not change the world over night, but the thoughts have been expressed.
  • September 2010: Published an article in Independent, still have a “do you have ideas” that I need to get back to. Helping presently to set up a knitting guild in for the region.

Use Up: Wool Stash anyone? I’m part of a “5K Stashdown” marathon on Ravelry. As I have eleven times that much, it’s not a huge commitment. I might try for the side bet of knitting up an average of a mile of yarn a month (nearly 20K). If I can get to where it all fits in the tubs, that’d be a huge start. Also–the fabric stash, which is smaller and therefore doesn’t get as much blog time. See my actual blog page for my knit meter.

  • May 2010: I brought a bunch of yarn in for the Knit In swap; I gave a bunch to Our Lady of the Business Office. The stash allllllllllmost fits in the tubs it’s supposed to. Except for some of that stuff I bought when I shouldn’t have gone wool shopping.
  • May 2010: I’ve cleaned out a fair chunk of the romance novel backlog. Not all of them–I still want to read the remaining 40 or so…but the others are either to the FOTL sale or off to the Opera Singer. There are only so many hours in the day to read.
  • Sept 2010: I’ve passed 5K meters knit up for the year but there’s still a lot to be used. Especially when I still shop. I’m getting back to reading those books that I wanted to and I’m going to put some on Paperbackswap and see if I can’t get some out the door.

Cheer Up: Enough with the snark, the griping, and the drama. So 2009. I can’t say cynicism is fully retiring, this is me after all, but maybe not all sarcasm all the time.

  • Hmmm…this one still requiring some effort.
  • An ongoing effort, always.

Save Up: Get the debt paid down and the savings account paid up. And more towards retirement (insert chuckle about a public librarian ever being able to retire *here*).

  • May 2010: Making progress–it’s a slow and steady thing.
  • Sept 2010: The credit card is clear! Hooray! And I wrote checks (rather than putting out the cc) for some recent larger expenses.  Don’t like watching the bank balance go down but far better than turning it over to someone charging me interest.

How are you doing on your goals this year?

Random Wednesday

Silence can be a sign of too much to say rather than the inverse.  Trying to align my thoughts of late has been challenging.  I’m working on a lot of to do lists.  And if it isn’t in my day planner, it is not happening.  That’s the rule. The day planner is final and it’s paper.  Yes I know that means it isn’t backed up and synched to my phone and etc etc etc…the best organization system is the one that works for you and accomplishes what you need it to without infringing on others. (I’m mauling someone’s quote there…)

1.  School started today. HOORAY! Does this mean the library is empty? Well…for about 15 minutes it did.  The school year isn’t necessarily quieter during the school year, but the focus is a little different.  Storytimes start again week after next and we’re swinging back to after school programming. Homeschooling parents are still  in and there are early release days starting next week so we get to play “what school district are you attending and are you truant?”  There are also an increasing number of families taking advantage of online education for the K-12 crowd.  This works to varying degrees, just as all other methods of education.

2. Book 10 of the 39 Clues is out.  I was number 2 on the hold list and I have started reading my copy.

3. Last check of the Mockingjay holds list had us down to 179 in the system with 30 copies. Hopefully readers will continue to turn things over quickly.  Audio is looking a little longer, the Branch Princess and I bought four copies but there’s only 1 other copy in the system so far.

4. I added a widget that shows my knitting projects! I know, I know, knitting was broken out of here and sent off to Hedgehog Knitting. My blog, my rules though, right?  So if you’re inclined you can click over to HL Headquarters and see little images and my progress. This is pulled in from Ravelry, where I’m pretty good about keeping up with admission of how much wool I buy and just how many projects I have going on at present. Feel free to nag about projects you think I should be finishing.

5. I’m going home three weeks from today! I have nearly an entire week in NY and only a few definite plans as yet, though the goal is to relax and get away and just see everyone there in person.  Just found out The Actor is going to be away (sad) so I’ll miss him this round. But I will get to meet my new nephew, Tyler; I can hopefully fit in a trip to  my hairdresser; and, perhaps I can get the Brunette to go with me to the American Museum of Natural History or the National Museum of the American Indian. Haven’t been to the former in 5-6 years, the latter, ever.  He doesn’t want to go yarn shopping with me, I’ll compromise if we can hit a museum instead.  Also, maybe out to the North Fork of LI (assuming Earl doesn’t wash it away) to the wineries. (Gypsy will be staying at home with her usual live-in minion, oops, sitter)

6. I’m reading Domesday: a Search for the Roots of England (Wood) and listening to Dragon Rider (Funke/Fraser). Blameless by Gail Carriger came out TODAY, so that might necessitate a trip up to BN after work.  Because I have copious spare time.

7. I almost have all my long picture books pulled for Wee Reads Part 3. I still haven’t found a chapter book I’m happy with so today will need to be rummaging the shelves again.